Q:What makes Terminator 3 different than almost all other science fiction movies?

A: The computers are highly reliable, with self-healing system architecture that makes humans powerless to stop annihilation.

The all-powerful computer system threatening the extinction of the species is an enduring Hollywood myth, and thus a part of our popular culture. Consider how humans avoid the apocalypse in the earlier Terminator films, almost any Star Trek episode, WarGames, Superman III, Independence Day, and Short Circuit by disrupting the heating and cooling systems, power supply, or software of a computer system.

In the time, I have been covering data centers-and that traces back to an article I did on American Express in the 1980s-I have never heard a data center operator brag that a data center could never go down. Rather, data center operators spend their lives trying to meet almost impossible operating requirements, balance new server installations with maintenance requirements, and battle the elements and poorly written software. I guess life does imitate art, since most movie data center operators also fight hackers and saboteurs. (We won’t mention how often these heroes fail in fiction.)

Mission Critical magazine is a startup publication meant to help you-no not destroy humanity-meet the every day challenges of keeping the data center at the heart of your enterprise operating. In fact, we promise to provide advice and information about emergency backup, power reliability and availability, disaster recovery, system design, safety, cost, and energy efficiency.

Many of you may be familiar with coverage our team afforded some of these topics in Energy and Power Management. If so, I hope you will be pleased to learn that we have kept much of the original team together. You can expect a first-class publication. Let me first introduce our editorial board. Returning from Energy and Power Management are

• Dennis Cronin, Gilbane Construction

• Peter Curtis, Power Management Concepts

• Peter Funk, Jr., Duane Morris

• Cyrus Izzo, Syska Hennessy Group

• Jack McGowan, Energy Control

• John Mussili, Intel• Bruce Myatt, EYP Mission Critical Facilities

• Russ B. Mykytyn, Campbell Company

• Leonard Ruff, Callison Architecture

• Robert F. Sullivan, ComputerSite Engineering, Inc.

I’d also like to announce that Tom Reed of KlingStubbins and Stephen Worn of Data-Center Dynamics and OT Partners have agreed to help by joining our board. I’ll also be announcing additional members joining us from the end-user community.

I’d encourage you to read this issue from cover to cover to get a flavor of the issues these columnists will tackle. In addition to the Wiki and other web features that I mentioned, we have also developed new columns.

Take, for instance, Peter Curtis’ bold call for microgrids to improve business resiliency (p. 16). Peter brings years of experience to bear on an issue that affects that the entire nation. Then, on p. 12, Bruce Myatt brings us up to date on efforts to incorporate dc power technology in data centers, as a way of reducing their cost and improving their reliability.

Finally, Peter Funk (p. 10) looks at the effect of utility tariffs on the economics of backup power installations, particularly in hospitals. They will be contributing work for every issue. So you see, it’s a nice blend of what succeeded in Energy and Power Management with a new look and new focus on the issues.

I could go on in the vein of a wordy table of contents, calling attention to every feature.

Don’t worry I won’t, since the design of this new magazine includes a very nicely designed Table of Contents among its features. Thanks to art directors Laura Carruthers and Kathleen Brennan, the contents page is a great help for navigating the issue and calls attention to a great cover story (I’ll let you turn to page 3 to learn more).

Please feel to contact me or publisher Peter Moran (see the masthead, p. 4) with any questions, ideas, or suggestions.

Yes, we have preserved much, but we also redesigned the publication and gave it a new name in order to signal our commitment to this industry. We have added experts to our editorial board and will be presenting a new series of columns, which will make the information we present even more practical. Please look at the masthead on the previous page for a brief introduction to our board.

We have also launched a website (www.missioncriticalmagazine.com). We intend to make this site into a marketplace of ideas and a laboratory for change.

Many of these features are already in development. For a sneak peek, please visit our website. Two board members, Dennis Cronin of Gilbane and Cyrus Izzo of SyskaHennessy, have contributed industry wiki definitions. Feel free to email me your definitions now, and we will make sure that they become part of the industry’s first dedicated wiki. We also intend to begin providing enhanced coverage of industry tradeshows and events.

Look for me at these industry events. I want to meet you and learn about your data center and emergency issues. And who knows, perhaps you will become part of our industry coverage.